Workplace wellness has become a top priority for employers in recent years, as they have realized the importance of employee health and wellbeing.
To fully understand where we are headed, one must examine the key trends that have arisen over the last three years of interruptions, transformations, and volatility — each, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, what’s more, June is also Professional Wellness Month! Here are the 14 Employee Wellness Trends that will influence employees and HR in 2023 and beyond:
1. The four-day workweek
Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, Iceland, and Japan have all trialed and established four-day workweeks for both staff members and organizations as a whole — with great success. This shift helps individuals feel more connected with their employers and stay independent, while also preserving a better work-life balance – factors critical to professional wellness.
2. Acknowledging the pervasive sense of fatigue
After two years of anxiety and uncertainty, if there’s a single emotion we all feel, it is exhaustion. Employers and employees have endured tremendous duress and change. This phenomenon has had a pervasive effect on both our mental and physical health.
Businesses will need to implement workplace wellness tactics to tackle this feeling of weariness and fatigue by 2023. Consider offering your team employee assistance programs (EAP), that provide confidential counseling services, as a safe space for discussing mental health issues.
3. A focus on financial wellness
Financial wellness is defined as an absence of money-related uncertainties and a person’s overall financial well-being. Employees who have concerns about their finances miss nearly two times as many days a year as their coworkers. As fears of a recession loom over the workforce, addressing financial wellness is a top trend in 2023.
Workshops are a simple and fairly affordable way to establish a fundamental financial wellness program. You can also offer tools for on-demand financial consulting, customized training, online education, and much more.
4. Personalized wellness programs
In 2023, personalization is a vital aspect of workplace wellness. There are a growing number of wellness programs customized to meet the unique needs and preferences of every employee. This may encompass fitness and nutrition programs in addition to wellness support and counseling services.
Consequently, an increasing number of employers are using cutting-edge technologies to personalize workplace wellness, like wearables that monitor health and fitness indicators, online wellness initiatives, or virtual wellness advisory services.
5. PTO innovation
The popularity of unlimited paid time off (UPTO), which was first introduced by tech companies looking to attract top talent (like Netflix), is rising. Even traditional institutions are setting up unlimited PTO policies. Goldman Sachs introduced a UPTO provision for senior employees in 2022.
Nevertheless, ambiguous and unclear vacation guidelines can be harmful. It could result in employees having less time off when compared to conventional vacation policies, which can cause exhaustion. A company must combine unlimited vacation time with an ethos of trust, recuperation, and self-rejuvenation.
You can also get creative with your paid time off policies, with professional wellness in mind. Introduce monthly flexible holidays that employees may use at their discretion. Set a minimum required number of vacation days. Provide workers with limitless social impact time off (SITO), enabling them to take any day off to volunteer.
6. Supporting caregivers
The rise of the “sandwich generation” means that caregiving duties and their related challenges will rank as a major wellness trend in 2023. These individuals must care for both elderly parents and their offspring due to advancements in medicine and changes in socio-economic demographics.
These obligations not only impair work-life balance but also have a negative impact on mental health.
You can offer a variety of caregiving services, such as alternative care for children and the elderly, tuition discounts, or online assignment assistance. Initiating paid and unpaid time off to look after a family member with an advanced medical condition is also a good idea.
7. Holistic wellness
This is one buzzword that has become a top wellness trend in 2023. Holistic health implies that programs evaluate the total health of the individuals they support. Mental and physical well-being will be prioritized by these programs. These interdisciplinary approaches incorporate elements of allopathy, naturopathy, yoga, and meditation.
Beyond 2023, company wellness programs will become comprehensive. It will help workers become the best versions of themselves in every aspect of their lives, not just at work.
8. Remote wellness
The growing popularity of remote work has driven businesses to alter their wellness programs to meet the specific requirements of remote workers. Employers will provide online exercise sessions, web-based wellness challenges, along with digital support groups in 2023.
Not only are these helpful for professional wellness, but they also maintain a feeling of connection, community, and camaraderie. Organizations ensure that individuals feel accepted, engaged, and connected no matter their location by implementing remote work well-being programs.
9. Preventive solutions
As humanity keeps on recovering from COVID-19, the best thing an organization can do is offer preventive healthcare to its employees. Your workers cannot be productive if they are not healthy. If you want your business to succeed, you must take measures to protect both their mental and physical well-being.
Along with typical ailments triggered by pathogens or viruses, individuals today are more likely to suffer from a range of mental health issues, like anxiety, stress, and depression. However, if detected early on, they can receive efficient care and avoid prolonged absences.
10. Intersection of wellness and engagement
Employee engagement has always been an essential aspect of workplace wellness. In 2023, employers will prioritize creating a wellness culture that motivates employees and helps them maintain their well-being. Wellness competitions and team-building activities go a long way in promoting employee health, happiness, and enthusiasm.
11. Reinventing hybrid work
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered major changes in where and how workers execute their tasks. While some businesses have reopened offices as a result of the relaxation of COVID restrictions, one thing is certain: employees are accustomed to remote and hybrid work and will keep asking for flexibility from their companies.
Despite the numerous advantages of hybrid work, businesses must also deal with the disadvantages of a decentralized workforce. This could mean a disconnect from their coworkers, organization, or community, which is detrimental to their wellness.
Businesses should evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of the workplace before the pandemic and the workplace throughout the COVID era and combine the best parts of both models. This could involve having a physical office and using it strategically.
12. Less focus on hustle
In the past, “a culture of grind or hustle”— the practice of working longer, harder, faster than everyone else — might have been exalted, but progressive companies now value work-life balance. Many employees echo this trend through the practice of quiet quitting, where they do just enough work as is mandated by their role.
Encourage employees to disable Slack notifications after business hours. Make it mandatory for employees to take off days, even if they are remote, and maximize their vacation days. In 2023, organizations will have to prioritize equilibrium over efficiency at all costs.
13. Voice of the employee
Listening to your staff members is vital when choosing the best well-being solutions. Today’s employees expect that the management — and the company as a whole — will listen and respond. If they don’t receive this support, they’ll seek employment elsewhere.
Discussion forums, staff committees, employee resource units, or surveys are all necessary listening channels. Get employee feedback to confirm that your wellness programs are truly effective. Consider what else individuals might need from the organization in order to flourish.
Ultimately, leaders actively demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being as a key value creator — by continuously listening to the workforce.
14. Shared ownership of employee health
Business leaders now understand that well-being is a shared duty.
Over-dependence on one’s own accountability and responsibility cannot combat the core structural obstacles to well-being: work overload, negativity in workplaces, feelings of discrimination, and lack of inclusivity. In other words, the only way ahead is to collectively move forward, and this will remain a top professional wellness trend in the coming years.
The middle manager takes on a crucial role in the implementation of wellness as a shared duty. Regardless of whether well-being is mentioned in the job summary, every manager is in a position to either encourage or undermine the level of well-being of their team members.
For Professional Wellness Month 2023, companies should analyze and act on these 14 Employee Wellness Trends that are reshaping workplace experiences. For more ideas on improving wellness, read our Mental Health Awareness Month guide as well as the tutorial on using HR tech for employee wellbeing.